As we say goodbye to the holiday season, I have been reflecting on how this whirlwind time of year can impact our day-to-day lives. With the holiday season comes the stress of cleaning house for all the guests coming through the doors. From Christmas parties, to family gatherings, and just getting ready for the influx of new toys and gifts, it can be overwhelming to think about keeping things straightened up! Thankfully, I have pretty much gotten this part of the holidays down to a science. Keep reading to see my top tips for keeping things spic-and-span during the holiday season.
A Place for Everything: You have probably heard me reference this rule before. Every item in your house should have a home base, a place where you know it goes when not in use. Ideally, you keep it where you use it, and if you don’t use it, you let it go. This goes for anything from toys, to the dog’s tennis balls, to bills, to coats, to unwrapped gifts. If you have established this in your home, you have already completed the first step to sanity during the holidays!
Establish an end-of-day clean-up routine: This step is a great reminder not just for the holidays, but year round! Every night near bedtime while my husband is showering and taking the dog out, I have a few things that I do to leave a clean slate for the next morning. Each night I wash up the dishes and wipe down the counters. If I have to leave a couple pots soaking, I don’t feel bad. I usually have time in the mornings to wash these if I let the soak real good first! I then take a few minutes to walk around the house putting up what my dogs and husband drag out. Dog toys go in the toy bin, recycling gets carried outside, sermon writing materials go back on the shelf, throw pillows get fluffed on the couch, and shoes go back to the closet. Even combined with dishes, this usually only takes me 10-15 minutes to straighten up and it leaves me feeling positive and relaxed to see everything where it goes. You can even take this routine further and get the family involved. My husband often tag teams dishes with me if I’m still washing up after he finishes his shower, or he’ll take out the recycling with the dog. I’m still trying to train the dog to clean up his toys...maybe someday!
Clean as you go: This is one of my top tips, particularly when preparing for a party. I recently did a ton of baking in preparation for a party, using a huge quantity of dishes and bakeware in the process. It would have been a nightmare to wait to the end to start cleaning up after myself, plus the other tidying up I needed to do around the house. My secret: I use the bake time to wash dishes and clean the bathrooms. Most cookies take about 10 minutes to bake, so everytime I threw another batch in the oven I would do a sink-load of dishes, target a room, or prep another batch of cookies. By the time I finished baking, the only thing I had left to do was to wipe down the counters and sweep the flour off the kitchen floor!
I hope these tips help in your day-to-day life! If you still feel overwhelmed trying to navigate the clutter and find a place for everything, shoot me an email! I am here to help!
Peace and Love,